IRL: Notebook 2003-10-29

Indy Racing League Notebook Renna memorial to take place in Florida; Michigan fan of the year enjoys IRL INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 -- A memorial service for the late Tony Renna will be conducted Oct. 31 in Renna's hometown of...

Indy Racing League Notebook
Renna memorial to take place in Florida; Michigan fan of the year enjoys IRL

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 -- A memorial service for the late Tony Renna will be conducted Oct. 31 in Renna's hometown of Deland, Fla.

Renna suffered fatal injuries in a testing crash Oct. 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A memorial service was conducted in Indianapolis on Oct. 27.

The Florida memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. (EST) Oct. 31 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 359 W. New York Ave. in Deland, Fla.

The service is open to the public, and media are reminded that still and video photography are prohibited in the church during the service.

Cards and letters of sympathy may be sent to:

Target Chip Ganassi Racing
7777 Woodland Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46278

***

Renna Remembered: Retired race driver Ralph Liguori probably knew the late Tony Renna as well as anyone.

"From the time he was born," Liguori said.

Liguori, 77, raced cars from 1949 until 2002. During the winter months, he lived in Florida and worked at a Tampa horse track. That's where he became close friends with Renna's father, Joe.

"He was a jockey," Liguori said.

Liguori, who made seven unsuccessful attempts to qualify for the Indy 500, watched Tony Renna grow up and reach the edge of stardom in his chosen sport. He was looking forward to following Renna's progress next season driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

Liguori left Indianapolis for Florida on the morning of Oct. 22 unaware of Renna's accident. His wife informed him of what had happened when he arrived home. He immediately purchased an airplane ticket back to Indianapolis to offer support to Joe Renna and his family.

***

MIS Fan of the Year: Tony Vernogis of Grosse Pointe, Mich. was named the 2003 Michigan International Speedway Fan of the Year.

Vernogis has attended races at MIS for more than 20 years and was randomly chosen from the 10 MIS Fans of the Month, a contest that started in December 2002.

MIS hosts NASCAR weekends in June and August, as well as the IndyCar Series Firestone Indy 400 in July.

Vernogis, a Corvette enthusiast, said that the July race-weekend festivities he attended at MIS were his favorite. During the weekend, he entered his Corvette in the AC Delco Corvettes at MIS presented by Autoweek show in the MIS infield.

"I can't wait to come back next year during the IRL weekend with my Corvette as well as the NASCAR weekend and see as much racing as I can," Vernogis said. "I had just bought a digital camera, and when Bobby Unser, Bryan Herta and Tony Kanaan came over and talked to us, I snapped a lot of great photos. What a great weekend.

"I'd like to thank all the folks who work and who volunteer for the race weekends at MIS because we always have a good time. I've been going to MIS for over 20 years now, and it just keeps getting better and better. I'm going to keep going to this circus."

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Bobby Unser , Tony Renna , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing